Originally from Chicago, Karen Underwood found her way from America to Ireland and settled in Cork over twenty years ago. An accomplished singer, writer, storyteller and public speaker, Karen only began her professional singing career in her mid-30’s. Since then, she has written and produced no less than seven shows that weave together her unique mix of storytelling and music. She has performed at The Cork Opera House, The Everyman, The Olympia, The Gate, Vicar Street, The Blackbox, The National Concert Hall, Marlay Park and countless other venues in Ireland.

Karen has one adult daughter and shares four adult children with her wife Mary McNally. In January of 2012 she lost her son, Erbie.

She states, “Music and speaking with other people, helps me forget how tough life is by remembering how good it is. I sing, tell stories, and write. My pain goes into my creation. I must create something whether it is on a stage, a garden or in a kitchen. I believe that we are born to create something.”

Her debut in Ballydehob combines stories of her Chicago roots with the timeless music of Nina Simone, Quincy Jones, Dinah Washington, Etta James, Billie Holiday and many more. With arrangements and keys by John O’Brien, bassist Dave Whitla and Fionn O’Ceallachain on drums, Karen Underwood and Her Friends is certain to bring you a night to remember.